As a traveler, I understand;
you, a traveler, too,
must travel, we must
but a drop
of imaginary sun,
has touched the blind blood
—— Pablo Neruda, excerpt from “Ode to the Third Day”
Neruda, were you writing about a day of the week? Or were you lamenting the end of summer, as I hear through the howl of my re-entry struggles? You who understood all things, of course felt the keen sorrow of leaving behind life’s elements — gracious friends, groundedness, sea, sardines, openness. To your odes, we sing along with sweet regret, knowing how lucky we are to touch those values. Loss is the nature of the game!
Back at home, I am resolved to bring expansive “summer” — i.e. human values — into what seems like our never-ending strife, conflict, struggle. I’m modeling my plans after more balanced friends to 1) create the better world of our little garden rather than rail against the one that seems to loom, and 2) to bring lightness to the truth that we’re all flawed, to laugh rather than judge.
Seems rather North American. I prefer Neruda’s continuing language: “we will cherish/ this insurgent day,/ blazing,/ unforgettable,/ a bright flame/in the midst of dust and time.”